The Vauxhall Insignia's greatest step forward over its Vectra predecessor was in its platform and suspension. While the combination of MacPherson struts up front and a four-link arrangement at the rear follows the same basic layout as the Vectra, each suspension component was new.
VXR models have a HiPerStrut front suspension arrangement which seeks to reduce torque steer and maintain negative camber during cornering for improved grip.
Further suspension innovation comes in the form of Flexride, a continuously variable damper system that adjusts in relation to road conditions and driving style.
The Insignia’s suspension has been re-specified as part of the latest facelift, and its handling re-tuned, for greater rolling comfort. Some 60 percent of the chassis componentry is new; springs, dampers, bushings and more. And it’s made a perceptible difference, without turning the Vauxhall into a particularly outstanding bargain limousine.
That you can feel the dynamic benefit most on the motorway is probably exactly as Vauxhall would want it. At high cruising speeds, the car’s evidently lower spring rates give it a gentle low-frequency primary ride – and that’s without the optional ‘Flexride’ dampers, which could be expected to deliver even more waft in ‘Tour’ mode.
More disappointing are the cabin’s isolation levels; there’s a fair bit of wind and road noise permitted in compared with some cars in the class, while the ‘bump-thump’ low-speed secondary ride is a little bit noisy and fidgety, too.